The Countdown

Shhh. If you listen closely you can almost hear it. A subtle ticking noise. In fact, if you turn down the volume on Wheel of Fortune, you can hear a ticking noise too. This tick-tock combo is time – counting down the weeks until Cinco de Mayo. Which begs the question: are you ready for the fiesta? Because I am.

My preparations have included brushing up on Mexican history, practicing my margarita mixology skills, and consuming a steady diet of quality Mexican food. I don’t want to be the person that, when offered a burrito this May 5th, says “no thanks, I’m full.”

If you don’t want to be that person either, I recommend practicing your Mexican food consumption at Consuelo’s Taqueria in Manchester.

I first discovered Consuelo’s while working downtown. The delicious variety of traditional Mexican food at reasonable prices made for a perfect stop on my lunch break rotation. And if I’m being honest, some weeks it became the whole rotation.

I no longer work in downtown Manchester, but I still visit Consuelo’s just as frequently. Especially this time of year with the dawn of spring and Cinco de Mayo celebrations on the horizon.

When I stopped by Consuelo’s the other day, I started my meal the way I always do – with an order of espinaca dip, the greatest invention in the history of food. As always, both the chips and the dip arrived nice and hot, and the cheese was the perfect consistency for dipping, scooping, and in my case, basically shoveling it into my mouth with the fresh tortilla chips. I was so immersed in my appetizer, I nearly forgot to order the rest of my meal.

But before ordering, I had to make a pit stop at the hot sauce station. Consuelo’s always keeps three varieties of hot sauces stocked, with little containers to take back samples to your table or to add to take-out orders. The three sauce options increase in spiciness from mild to hot, which is perfect for testing your own heat tolerance, or for testing your friends’ tolerance by adding some to their burritos while they aren’t looking.

Once I was set up with my sauces, I placed an order for my go-to favorite at Consuelo’s – the Alambre Burrito, which comes loaded with rice, beans, cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and your choice of chicken or steak. But the ingredient that really kicks this entrée to the next level is crispy crumbles of fresh bacon.

I even cut it in half to get you an exclusive behind-the-scenes shot of what was happening under the tortilla, which is generally against the rules of burrito eating. Once you break the tortilla seal, it’s tough to keep all of those delicious ingredients together. I actually spilled on myself three times, just so you all could get a better look at the magic.

Some of the other menu items I order regularly include the quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas. All of the food at Consuelo’s is made fresh right before your eyes with grills and kitchen equipment situated in the center of the restaurant. This is great because the employees are extremely friendly and fun to chat with while they prepare the food. They even call me by name when I walk in – which is both a testament to how friendly they are, and how frequently I eat there.

Consuelo’s offers some of the most authentic and delicious Mexican food in NH, and all at affordable prices with a charming atmosphere. So make sure to stop by often as you gear up toward the Cinco de Mayo festivities. Otherwise you’ll be the person at the party who throws in the towel after filling up on just chips and salsa. And no one likes that person.

Check out Consuelo’s at 36 Amherst Street in Manchester.

As always, please email eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts.

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